Archive for September 8th, 2011

BC Court Rules Rogers’ Zoocasa Real Estate Site Infringed Copyright, Breached Terms of Use

The B.C. Supreme Court has issued a lengthy ruling against Rogers Communications and its real estate search site, Zoocasa. The case originates from Century 21’s objections to Zoocasa’s scraping of its real estate listings and incorporating them into its own site. Zoocasa scraped the full listings for several months starting in August 2008, but in November 2008 switched to “truncated” descriptions that provide only basic information. In August 2009, Zoocasa began “framing” other sites, but it stopped that practice in December 2009.  Zoocasa stopped indexing Century 21 listings in 2010.

The decision includes many important findings on online contracts, trespass, and copyright. The court canvasses the law of online contracts and concludes that website terms of use can be enforceable.  In this particular case, Century 21’s terms prohibited copying or scraping its content. By doing so, Zoocasa breached the contract. The court awarded $1,000 in damages for the breach. Note that the court even finds that continuing to link to the Century 21 site (a practice prohibited by Century 21 once it provides notice) was a breach of the contract.

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September 8, 2011 17 comments News